wisdom to win

 Wisdom to Win
search bar left
search bar right

Rensis Likert (1903-81)Rensis Likert


American professor and expert in employee behaviour (pictured right).


Key books


New Patterns of Management (1961)


There are four types of management:


System 1 (exploitive authoritative)

Autocratic and coercive (using fear and threats).

  • can achieve high productivity (particularly supported by tight controls).
  • makes employee relations worse leading to people leaving and poor quality work.


System 2 (benevolent authoritative)

Autocratic and persuasive (via rewards).


System 3 (consultative)

Limited employee involvement in decision making.


System 4 (participative group management)

  • Total involvement by groups in making decisions
  • Performance driven managers responding to employees’ needs and expectations.


System 4 delivers the

  • highest productivity.
  • best relations between management and employees.


Key quote

Authoritarian organizations tend to develop dependent people and few leaders


New Ways of Managing Conflict (1976), written with his wife, Jane


System 5 management is System 4 without hierarchical authority.

This will become increasingly important, because performance and competitiveness depend on:

  • the sharing of power 
  • knowledge.
Free Newsletter
Enter your name and e-mail address to receive our free newsletter with analysis of business issues and new business books